Why printer? Why when I need to print 5000pgs you keep stopping every 8pgs in? Why do you hate me?
Watching the process of what, I assumed, was the dismantling of the entire house into a vacant lot, I couldn’t help but be upset. It seemed that this, all this, the suicide of our neighbor in the midst of the fear of losing his home; the continued harassment by the city of our former neighbor, political “yard artist” Andrew Moore, to the degree that, after dozens of code violations he did in fact lose his home; the proliferation of abandoned, yet privately owned, properties around the neighborhood that the city seemed to care little about; all of this felt too aggressively normal. By the book to a degree that its disregard for human life became absolved through bureaucracy.”
– from Trash: An Afterlife of Voiceless Objects by Sam Gould (coming soon in the Tools for Remediation booklet series)
Sitting in the shop and thinking about the various ways that Beyond Repair, as a project and not simply a site, needs to utilize publication to move ideas around a neighborhood. For one, when thinking about publication, it’s important to be light on your feet.
Publication, within these circumstances can be both object and / or action, noun and / or verb. Publication acts as the tool to move ideas around. This could mean a book, a zine, a parade, or a protest.
Lasting publications serve the publics they wish to energize and purposely avoid formalism for the sake of promoting agency.
Just before I was closing up shop today a woman walked in and asked what we were up to, a not untypical hesitant question that’s often something like, “And you are… what, exactly?”
In talking she asked how much time we put into “working with authors.” These conversations, interactions, it’s all new to us. New to me and anyone who walks into the shop alike. All of it looks familiar, and yet, it’s not. I’d argue that’s the point.
To explain what she was getting at she mentioned a 6th grade kid she knows, a neighbor, who has been alarmed by a number of armed robberies in his alley of late. He’s been drawing “monsters,” and they’ve been talking about how the robberies have made him feel afraid. She wanted to know if she and the kid could come down and talk it through. What could kids do to pragmatically and publicly address their fears, while also giving enough space to work through understanding the complexity of what’s at hand, for adults too?
The woman agreed that simply asking for more police wasn’t the answer, in that, while the 9th Ward might have a problem with crime, we equally enough have a problem with police.
Honestly, I don’t know. But I love these sorts of interactions and my real belief of where they can lead if you’re willing to take the time. Someone’s willingness to sit down and look at all sides of something is what turns “criminal” into “neighbor.” That’s not a way to avoid the facts at hand, it’s a process of making light of how all of our actions are interconnected and if you want something to get better it’s your job to help see that process through. And, at least from where I’m at, that doesn’t mean calling the police. It means making sure each of us feels secure in our lives and livelihood.
We’re working on a new series to be edited by Shanai Matteson and Sam Gould. It’s called Tools for Remediation. An on-going series of essays across experience, Tools for Remediation attempts to engage and pull apart what the editors consider a “culture of abuse” that, whether attacking, or under attack, limits our social and political responses solely within the scope of abuse and nothing more.
Below, a sketch of what the series might look like. More to come…
Calling all health care professionals:
Many “students of health” (LPN, RN, APRN, PA, MD, LICSW, PHN) learn about specific communities through studying “health disparity.” The neighborhoods of South Minneapolis’s 9th Ward – where Beyond Repair, and in turn the Midtown Global Market, reside – are sociopolitical landscapes that are often approached as “disparaging communities” within such training.
Seeing as neighborhoods suffering “health disparities” are often predominantly of color, as well as poor, and often are affectively rendered voiceless regarding their own health care needs, what does this say about pedagogy put into practice within the field of health? Furthermore, with these questions in mind, what role, in specific, does this play within pedagogy and practice considering the area around Beyond Repair and the Global Market are within reach of several well-recognized, large scale hospitals and health systems?
These will be continuing, semi-formal, lunchtime and happy hour conversations aimed at seeing how we, as individuals within health hierarchies, can leverage our skills and knowledge through publication and public-making towards more radical and decentralized practices within the neighborhoods in which we live and work.
Come with questions and considerations about how we can move our ideas across bureaucracy and into the public realm to assist those who we serve.
A beautiful and wide ranging conversation in four parts between composers John Cage and Morton Feldman. We’re hoping to transcribe this for publication within the next few months. This just screams, “read me,” right?
“Oh, Sonyichka [Sophie Liebknecht], I’ve lived through something sharply, terribly painful here. Into the courtyard where I take my walks there often come military supply wagons, filled with sacks or old army coats and shirts, often with bloodstains on them … They’re unloaded here [in the courtyard] and distributed to the prison cells, [where they are] patched or mended, then loaded up and turned over to the military again.
Recently one of these wagons arrived with water buffaloes harnessed to it instead of horses. This was the first time I had seen these animals up close. They have a stronger, broader build than our cattle, with flat heads and horns that curve back flatly, the shape of the head being similar to that of our sheep, [and they’re] completely black, with large, soft, black eyes. They come from Romania, the spoils of war. … The soldiers who serve as drivers of these supply wagons tell the story that it was a lot of trouble to catch these wild animals and even more difficult to put them to work as draft animals, because they were accustomed to their freedom. They had to be beaten terribly before they grasped the concept that they had lost the war and that the motto now applying to them was “woe unto the vanquished” [vae victis]…
There are said to be as many as a hundred of these animals in Breslau alone, and on top of that these creatures, who lived in the verdant fields of Romania, are given meager and wretched feed. They are ruthlessly exploited, forced to haul every possible kind of wagonload, and they quickly perish in the process.
—And so, a few days ago, a wagon like this arrived at the courtyard [where I take my walks]. The load was piled so high that the buffaloes couldn’t pull the wagon over the threshold at the entrance gate. The soldier accompanying the wagon, a brutal fellow, began flailing at the animals so fiercely with the blunt end of his whip handle that the attendant on duty indignantly took him to task, asking him: Had he no pity for the animals? “No one has pity for us humans,” he answered with an evil smile, and started in again, beating them harder than ever. … The animals finally started to pull again and got over the hump, but one of them was bleeding … Sonyichka, the hide of a buffalo is proverbial for its toughness and thickness, but this tough skin had been broken.
During the unloading, all the animals stood there, quite still, exhausted, and the one that was bleeding kept staring into the empty space in front of him with an expression on his black face and in his soft, black eyes like an abused child. It was precisely the expression of a child that has been punished and doesn’t know why or what for, doesn’t know how to get away from this torment and raw violence. …
I stood before it, and the beast looked at me; tears were running down my face—they were his tears. No one can flinch more painfully on behalf of a beloved brother than I flinched in my helplessness over this mute suffering. How far away, how irretrievably lost were the beautiful, free, tender-green fields of Romania! How differently the sun used to shine and the wind blow there, how different was the lovely song of the birds that could be heard there, or the melodious call of the herdsman.
And here—this strange, ugly city, the gloomy stall, the nauseating, stale hay, mixed with rotten straw, and the strange, frightening humans—the beating, the blood running from the fresh wound. … Oh, my poor buffalo, my poor, beloved brother! We both stand here so powerless and mute, and are as one in our pain, impotence, and yearning.
—All this time the prisoners had hurriedly busied themselves around the wagon, unloading the heavy sacks and dragging them off into the building; but the soldier stuck both hands in his trouser pockets, paced around the courtyard with long strides, and kept smiling and softly whistling some popular tune to himself. And the entire marvelous panorama of the war passed before my eyes.
Write soon. I embrace you, Sonyichka. Your R.
Sonyichka, dearest, in spite of everything be calm and cheerful. Life is like that, one must take it as it is, [and remain] brave, undaunted, and smiling—in spite of everything. Happy Christmas.
LET’S REPAIR YOUR BELOVED BOOKS!! TONIGHT – GLUE, BEER, TACOS, THE RESURRECTION OF BOOKS!!
We all need a little help to pull ourselves together right? There’s no difference when it comes to our beloved paperback books that have split their spines, seemingly never to be read again. And yet… we can’t stand the idea of parting with them.
Well, come on down to the shop tonight so we can lend you a hand. Bring whatever damaged books you have and we’ll glue them back together for you.
Pens and markers on hand to draw your own covers. It’s family night. Bring your kids. Imagine what your copy of Crime and Punishment will look like when you have your 6 year old draw the cover. Imagine how they’ll spell Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Re-Bind = $4 per book
$2 “coupon” off your beer at Eastlake with every book purchase.
I love Christopher Allen‘s paper cut work.
Christopher stopped into the shop today to chat. We’re working on putting out a artist book and poster edition of his paper cut portraits of other-world sentient beings. Soon, soon!
Are you racist? 'No' isn't a good enough answer
Are you racist? 'No' isn't a good enough answer.We can pull off being non-racist by being asleep in bed while black men are killed by police. We need to stop being non-racist, and start being anti-racist
Posted by The Guardian on Wednesday, January 13, 2016
I’m really impressed with the clarity amidst the complexity of Marlon‘s argument here. While cutting and to the point, its logic opens up a door for each encounter, each action, we take through a precise lens. In regard to so many aspects of power and acquiescence which we encounter daily, it’s exactly the type of question we should be asking of ourselves.
Marlon lives in the building above Beyond Repair, so considering I know he’s watching… MPLS folks, what do you have in mind? How can an expanded view of publication (as in The Act of Public-Making) strengthen anti-racist action and consciousness in the 9th Ward and further? Give it some thought. Have some ideas? Come down to the shop and let’s figure out what we can do to implement it.